On April 26, about 100 union supporters marched to the Burgerville at SE 26th and Powell in Portland. Simultaneously, a delegation of five Burgerville workers — accompanied by union organizers from the Painters Union and UNITE HERE — entered Burgerville’s corporate headquarters in Vancouver to present a letter announcing the formation of the Burgerville Workers Union. The 41-store regional chain, privately held by The Holland Inc., has so far failed to respond.
The union is affiliated with the Portland chapter of Industrial Workers of the World. It seeks a $5 an hour raise for workers in all 41 stores.
“They promote themselves as a good employer, and I would say it’s better than McDonald’s,” says Luis Brennan, cashier at Burgerville’s airport location. “But that doesn’t mean it’s enough for us to build a life on.”
Currently wages are at or near minimum wage. Full-time employees get health insurance, but it comes with a high deductible.
FIND OUT MORE: At BurgervilleWorkersUnion.org, you can find out how to help, and watch a video of workers explaining in their own words why they want a union.